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Sheikh Zayed, Cairo, Egypt.
Seoudi: Exotic Fruit in Sheikh Zayed
Having opened its doors earlier this year, Seoudi Sheikh Zayed sports neatly arranged aisles and spotless interiors. While it is a pleasant shopping experience for residents in the area, this is not the place to go if you’re looking for a bargain.
The two-story supermarket is neatly divided into food products (first floor) and household goods, appliances and detergents (second floor). We were impressed by their escalator system, which includes an escalator designed for your shopping cart to go up and down with you.
As you enter, a whole section to the right is dedicated to fresh produce. Most varieties of ordinary and organic fruits and vegetables are displayed in fridges and fruit stands; although we were disappointed to find that some of the produce is not as fresh as it looks, so do check (or ask) for arrival dates.
The real treat has got to be the range of imported fruits, though. While they come at a hefty price, they regularly hold exotic items like passion fruit (126LE/kg), redcurrant (55LE/150 gm), blueberries (55LE/125 gm) and mangosteen (135LE/kg). They’ve also on occasion had different types of imported mushrooms, dragon fruit, lychee, seedless yellow melons, blackberries and papaya.
While bread is baked fresh every few hours, only a few types are typically available at any given time. The bakery also has a range of petit fours, pastry snacks (both at 70LE/kg) as well as baton sale, cakes, and pastries.
A large counter in the back is dedicated to cold cuts, meat, poultry and fish. Each comes in variety of fresh produce, but pre-marinated poultry and cheese salads are also on offer. Marinated and un-marinated chicken will set you back 26LE/kg, while a shish tawouk cut and marinade costs 50LE/kg. All meat is locally produced where both veal (106LE/kg) and beef (84LE/kg) are available.
For the cold cuts, a variety of imported and local products are available, including Dutch Frico Emmental cheese (60LE/kg), Halwani smoked turkey (77.50LE/kg) and salami (63LE/kg). Accustomed to top-notch cold cuts from other Seoudi branches, we found it didn’t quite live up to its reputation and was inconsistent in quality and cut.
Rows of aisles down the centre hold a variety of imported and local dry goods, as well as beauty products, chocolates and candy. While the selection is not huge, it is well displayed and the staff are helpful. The frozen foods section is not as large as other markets in the areas, but is neatly arranged and includes imported items like London Dairy ice cream.
Upstairs, we had to walk through a section dedicated to kitchenware and home appliances before we reached the detergents’ section at the back. The selection of kitchenware includes pots, pans, trays, cutlery, and a variety of other knick-knacks.
Quite large, the shopping experience is pleasant even when crowded, and you’re not likely to find long queues or shoulder-butting shoppers at the counter.